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Best CD Cover 

On a Wire, The Get Up Kids

The Get Up Kids' latest disc differs from 2000's peppier, catchier Something to Write Home About in nearly every possible way -- except for the caliber of its cover art. Travis Millard, a former Lawrence resident nationally known for his work on Spin's back page, designed both Write Home's robot-themed cardboard case and On a Wire's enthralling cityscape, complete with a pull-out credit sheet silhouetted against a jagged skyline. The earthy color scheme, in which reddish orange bleeds into brown, reflects the group's current focus on no-frills Midwestern rock; the tour bus and towering buildings emphasize that the Kids have graduated to bright lights and big cities. Millard's additional creative touches include a recurring flying saucer, dull-gray driveway cement spilling into an adjacent frame, and a charmingly childish depiction of a rural home. Even fans who don't appreciate the Kids' new down-tempo sound should find room for this album -- on their walls, where they can hang it On a Wire.

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